There are plenty of other social media platforms in which to explore and after Facebook my next favourite is Twitter. I liken it to speed networking, it's quick, instantaneous, a mixed bag, take it or leave it, fun, which is why I like it, having used it since 2008. So here is my take on why as a small business owner myself, other small business owners should give Twitter some consideration.
So what is Twitter?
Twitter initially started out as platform which allowed bloggers to share their content in 140 characters. It quickly took off and has become one of the busiest social media highways of our day. It's a quick, cheeky platform. You create an account, start looking for some followers and then if they like the look of you, they might follow you back. That means you see their tweets, and they see yours. What it means is that those who have opted to follow you will get to see your tweets. There is no obligation to follow everyone back. It is not obligatory. As a business you will then think about sharing some links about your business and having a chat with some followers. If you like content from other sources or Tweeters, you might want to share that too.
Reasons for using it?
As with all social media platforms to actively seek if your customers are there and to creatively build and nurture relationships ideally with a 2-way conversation in mind and not just pumping out systematic tweets. It's about consistently using the platform to create awareness and drive traffic back to your website and at the same time be helpful to your audience by sharing information about topics that either relate to yours or will be of interest to them.
Once you are actively using Twitter you can begin to investigate what else is going on in your industry by using the much talked about #hashtag. One of my main jobs in social media management is work to with clients to create marketing specific messages, share links to blog content and entice followers with attractive visuals along with sharing relevant content to my clients followers.
Personally I like to use Twitter for research. Using #hashtags to source topics and followers for my clients. I very often see in one client feed an extremely relevant tweet for another client. So it enables me to act quickly. I also use it to connect people. Having used it since 2008 and a natural networker, I can very often see conversations taking place and think that person should be speaking to that person.
As with all other social media activity it deserves your time and if you are regularly visiting your marketing activity, then social media should be part of the plan too. Ten minutes once a week scrolling through your feed and retweeting furiously is not a Twitter strategy in any way shape or form. Neither is using ten minutes to upload your products and tweet in quick succession in a block. I am rather thankful of the mute button on Twitter as I tend to mute them but still be seen as following. It does indicate to me that the user is not thinking about a 2 way relationship with me. One tweet a day is not going to cut the mustard, it is like throwing a pebble into the ocean, nothing. Aim for a good half a dozen tweets throughout the day to create consistency and awareness that you are there. These could be a mix of conversations with followers, links that you have shared back to your website or blog and retweets of relevant tweets.
What to Tweet
Be mindful of what you tweet. It is not a platform to tweet your life in 140 characters throughout the day. Your tweets should be professional when related to your business. Do you have a blog or news that should be shared with your followers? What's happening in your business? Can a picture convey the story? Remember pictures convey a 1000 words. Twitter has the ability to instantly show your picture attachments and is great when it appears in the twitter feed. Much of my attention is caught my images. Use those 140 characters wisely. Keep it snappy and eye catching where you can. If you blog regularly - twitter is a great place to share this content #blogboost. Be brave! If you have a question, tweet it! If you see a tweet that catches your eye for whatever reason, reply! If you see a tweet that you think is relevant to your followers, retweet it!
Don't use Twitter, or any other social media platform if you are not going to use it properly. If in doubt, do your research, be clear about what you want to use Twitter for.
Don't continuously sell/promote you, you, you. Mix it up a bit. Why should followers visit your website or read your blog? Have you caught their curiosity?
Don't Tweet negative stuff. Be mindful of those who are reading it.
Do create an informative profile and use good images.
Do thank people for retweeting your tweets and following you. It provides a human element to your account.
Do tweet with other people. I love this about Twitter, I will randomly chat to people - to me it is like being in a coffee bar or waiting in a queue, I could not stand there and ignore something or someone that caught my attention, but this is my personality.
Do add humour and light heartedness to your Tweets. We are all human, we like to be entertained and I regularly sit at my PC and have a chuckle to myself. Be part of the fun and create some!
Do creatively promote a fantastic offer that you may have. Do me mindful of overly tweeting, but change the message regularly to drive traffic back to your website.
Do use a scheduling platform. Hootsuite.com is a platform that I would recommend. There are others out there, so do your research. The beauty of using a scheduling facility is that you don't have to cram your Tweeting efforts in one go. You can space out your messages over days, weeks, months, saving you heaps of time. I could not do my job without a scheduling facility.
Do look at #hashtags relating to your topic and start adding them to your Tweets. This means that your tweets will be included in the search for that topic if you are using that #hashtag. Be mindful of not using too many.
There is so much more to say about Twitter but will leave for another day. So enjoy the read and let me know your thoughts.
You can find me on Twitter @MicalaWilkins so if you are there, please connect and say 'hello'